FOOD SECURITY: THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL TRADE. Robbin Johnson, International Policy Council, June 2009. This discussion paper argues that successful agricultural trade liberalisation requires a shared vision of a global food system that ensures food security, food safety and sustainability. The author argues that food security is fundamentally about achieving reliable access to adequate, affordable and nutritious food supplies sufficient to avoid chronic hunger, crisis hunger and stunted development. The safety dimension involves securing food supplies free from contamination, adulteration or food-borne diseases and healthy foods that reduce the influence of diet-based diseases and promote well-being. Alongside security and safety has emerged the new concern of sustainability-the ability of one generation to meet its food needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. The collapse of the Doha negotiations and the emergence of a food crisis in early 2008, a financial crisis in mid 2008 and an economic crisis in late 2008 have reinforced autarchic instincts and weakened support for trade reform. To counteract these developments, the author calls for agricultural trade reform. For a copy of the discussion paper, visit http://agritrade.org/Publications/documents/FoodSecurity.pdf.
GOVERNANCE MATTERS 2009: WORLDWIDE GOVERNANCE INDICATORS 1996-2008. The World Bank, June 2009. The eighth release of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), one of the most comprehensive cross-country sets of governance indicators currently available, highlights the serious challenges that remain for rich and poor countries alike, and draws attention to the well-established link between better governance and improved development results. While this year's update of the research dataset shows many countries making progress in governance and anti-corruption over the past decade, it also reveals that many countries around the world failed to make such improvements. The WGI measures six broad dimensions of governance: voice and accountability; political stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality; rule of law; and control of corruption. To access the new data, please visit http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.asp.